I was a senior in high school, age 17, living with my parents, about to leave for college in a few short months and had very little cash. I wasn’t prepared to buy any inventory and ship out orders each day, so I had to get a little more creative if I wanted to sell physical products. I decided to find someone who sold what I wanted, then ask them to send the products out for me (aka Drop Shipping). First I had to find something to sell.
This was a bit hard. I took a sheet of paper, and in my tiny handwriting I listed about 300 products. EVERYTHING I COULD THINK OF. Lamps, mugs, pens, speakers, couches, guitars, software, beds, mini-blinds. Whatever popped into my head, I wrote it down. I then started narrowing the list down. The first items scratched off the list were the items with either way too much competition or things out of range for my $200 budget. Couches, computers, ceiling fans etc. were scratched out. I then started to search the competition for other products by doing search engine tests for the products.
Keep in mind, this was my first eCommerce project, so I wanted to enter a very small niche where I had a chance of survival.
I ran my final list of 10 things over with some friends and family….but still nothing was looking fantastic to me. My 12 year old brother helped me brainstorm a bit, and it was actually one of HIS ideas that stuck. Rave, club and party stuff. I did a quick search for that genre of product, and there were about 10 websites that sold them. Two of the websites were good, and the eight others were total crap. I KNEW I could make more professional and easier to use sites than 80% of the competition, so I set my sights on the rave/club/party genre of products.
Competition was low and the products wouldn’t be very expensive, so this seemed like an ideal testing ground for my first eCommerce site.
ACTION TO TAKE:
If you don’t already know what you want to sell, get out some paper.
1.) Start writing down different products. Anything. EVERYTHING. List at least 100 products. Since “products” is such a general term, I’d say list at least 300-400 items.
2.) Start narrowing down the options. Start by crossing out obvious things that either have way too much competition or are out of your range. I started crossing off things like couches, airplanes, computer monitors etc…
3.) Identify possible targets and niche markets. Maybe you’ll get clobbered trying to sell books, but perhaps you could experience some success with your knowledge of antique books from the Victorian era…or some niche market like that.
4.) Start researching your potentials and even further narrowing the list. Is a certain niche already filled by lots of big players? Can you do a much better job than the competition? Is the niche large enough to make profit?
Next >>> Part 3: Finding A Drop Shipper
The House Of Rave .com Story
Part 1: The Beginning
Part 2: Finding Something to Sell
Part 3: Finding A Drop Shipper
Part 4: Getting A Site Setup
Part 5: Pros and Cons of Drop Shipping
Part 6: How It All Works